COVID-19 Economic Reality: Unemployment Claims Top a Staggering 30 Million

By at 30 April, 2020, 11:23 am

by Raymond J. Keating-

The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday, April 30, reported that initial unemployment claims registered 3.839 million for the week ending April 25.

That was down by 603,000 compared to the previous week’s level. But at the same point last year, initial weekly jobless claims came in at 230,000. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 30 million people have filed unemployment claims since the middle of March.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

The percentage of the U.S. workforce covered by unemployment that were receiving payments came in at 12.4 percent during the week ending April 18. The Labor Department noted, “This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”

As for the states with the highest percentages of their workforces covered by unemployment that were receiving payments during the week ending April 18, they were: Michigan (21.8 percent), Vermont (21.2 percent), Connecticut (18.5 percent), Pennsylvania (18.5 percent), Nevada (16.8 percent), Rhode Island (16.7 percent), Washington (16.0 percent), Alaska (15.6 percent), New York (14.4 percent), and West Virginia (14.4 percent).

The news on the economy and jobs promises to remain grim at least throughout the rest of this quarter. Once beyond the pandemic crisis period, America’s great engine of growth and jobs – i.e, entrepreneurs and small businesses – will need the right environment to get re-ignited.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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